If you read The Sunday Times 2 weekends back, you might have noticed that we have an ACCA member covered in the “Turning 50 with Singapore” series.
We are very glad that Paul Tan, fellow member of ACCA and managing director of accounting firm CA Trust Pac paid tribute to ACCA and we wanted to get to know what makes Paul click. So, we caught up with Paul and found out some tidbits you might not know about him.
If someone gave you a million dollars to launch an entrepreneurial idea, what would that be?
I have never considered myself an entrepreneur, let alone a good one. I am merely a professional accountant in practice. If I am considered to have done reasonably well in practice, I can only attribute this to luck (or more accurately to Him).
Hence, if someone gave me a million dollars to launch an enterprise, I would recommend that it be invested in a trustworthy professional like me because the money may not multiply exponentially over a short period of time, but it will highly probably be grown steadily without involving sleepless-nights type of risks for the investors.
What song best describes your life right now?
As cheesy as it may sound… THE song that best describes my life right now is ‘My Way’ (by Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra). Whatever little I have achieved, it was not handed down to me, I did it my way.
If you had an opportunity to dress up at work, what superhero would you be?
Ironman! I think he is cool because in Avengers, Ironman or Tony Stark conceitedly described himself, as a Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.
I am certainly not, but wish I was, a Genius, Billionaire and had the prowess to be a Playboy. And I always prayed to be a Philanthropist.
When you were a boy of eight years old, what did you want to be and why?
When I was 8 years old, I was in primary two in Saint Gabriel’s Primary School. I only knew of one respectable profession then and it became my childhood ambition to be a teacher! In a small way, I did become one – I have been teaching on a part-time basis since 1991 (some 25 years now).
What are some traits you possess that you feel are similar to Singapore as a nation?
Singapore is where it is now because of meritocracy. I believe in meritocracy. I believe that one reaps what one sows. I believe in rolling up one’s sleeve to get the work done.
If you woke up and had 1,000 unread emails and could only answer 100 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer and why?
That would be a nightmare! But I would reply in a systematic manner “last in first out” because I have to presume that the most recent 100 emails matter most and as for the rest, I would have to pray they are not life threatening ones.
You are a father of two boys. What are some of the traits of yourself that you would want them to cultivate and what are those that you don’t want them to cultivate?
Hitherto, I have lived my life without any “safety nets” and I believe this has worked well for me because I am reminded that I have to strive for what I want to achieve. I wish to cultivate this trait in my two boys.
I procrastinate and leave too much that must be done to the last minute. I wish my two boys do not procrastinate because it creates unnecessary stress!
*** We had a lot of fun hosting this interview, and we wish Paul all the best as he continues his quest to superhero-hood!